**Edited to add: I received several requests for these retro fabric Christmas lights to be available to purchase, and I am pleased to say that they are now available in a few different varieties in my Etsy shop. Please check the site for the most current versions available.**
The move to London has meant that I have a completely blank slate for my Christmas decorating this year, because we have basically nothing.
The fun thing about a completely blank slate is that I can go in absolutely any direction with my decorations, and that is exactly what I did with these little lights. I looked at my stash of goodies, my blank white walls and basic furniture, and decided that I wanted little splashes of color and patterns spread around the flat.
Once I got started on these I didn't want to stop until I had tried out all of my options.
First I just wanted a few bright splashes of color for my tree, then I thought it would be a good way to use up some of my fabric scraps, then I wanted to make a set that coordinated, then I wanted to see them in solid colors...you get the idea. And every combination looked better with a little red and white polka dotted one included because it just SO Christmas-y. :)
I'll show you how to make two versions, the Christmas light ornament, and the strand of Christmas lights. Ready?
First I made a template of an exaggerated Christmas light bulb out of paper. I traced the template on the back of my fabric, placed two pieces of fabric right side together, sewed along the line that I had traced being sure to backstitch at the start and stop of the line. I left the bottom of the bulb open.
I cut out the bulbs with my pinking shears, and flipped the fabric right side out.
Next I stuffed it full with polyfill,
tucked the ends in and then stitched the bottom closed. Congratulations, you have a Christmas light!!
Now make a few more. Or a dozen. Throw them into a pile, arrange them in little sets, and toss them at your kids. But be sure to get them back-a lot of hard work went into those. :)
Grab some bakers twine and wooden spools, (I used the tiny 1/2 inch ones), and your hot glue gun. Now, there are two different options for making the sockets, a Christmas light ornament or a strand of bulbs.
For my single bulb I cut a strand of bakers twine about 12 inches long, tied the ends together, and used a crochet needle to tuck the knot into the hole in the spool. I put a glob of hot glue in the hole and pulled the twine back through just a bit so that the top of the spool would be completely flat, and the twine would be secured.
I put a big glob of hot glue on the top of the spool,
then stuck a Christmas light on top, pushing it down so that any of the glue that spilled over the edge of the spool would be covered by fabric.
Ta da! An ornament!
For the strand of Christmas light I kept a long strand of bakers twine. I used a crochet needle to tuck a section of the twine through the hole on the spool,
and secured it with a glob of hot glue, and then pulled the twine back into the spool a bit so that the top was flat.
Then I measured down the bakers twine about 9 inches, and attached another bulb in the same way. I did this 4 more times until I had a strand of 6 evenly spaced light "sockets."
Then I chose the lucky 6 lights that I would attach to these sockets, hot glued them on, and admired them happily.
If you decide that you want to turn your ornaments into a strand of lights, simply hang up a string of bakers twine and attach the bulbs afterwards. It's no biggie, and still looks adorable.
You can also embellish your bulb sockets if you'd like. You could wrap them in the bakers twine, ribbon, fabric or anything else that you have on hand.
The possibilities with washi tape alone are endless, am I right?
What do you think? Sweet, right?
More pictures of our "Christmas flat" soon. I am adding to it and changing it up almost every other day with the help of the littles. I love it. :)